Please select your home edition
Zhik 2022 Choice of Champions LEADERBOARD

International Dragon Gold Cup 2021 by Yanmar - Day 1

by Fiona Brown 15 Aug 2021 10:48 PDT 12-20 August 2021
International Dragon Gold Cup by Yanmar - no racing on day 1 © IDA

The opening day of the International Dragon Gold Cup 2021 by Yanmar in Marstrand, Sweden, brought glorious sunshine but very strong winds and big seas. The Race Committee put to sea to inspect conditions, but sadly the sea state was too severe so racing had to be abandoned for the day.

Back ashore the committee confirmed that the schedule for day two will be revised to permit two races, instead of the scheduled one, with an earlier start time of 11:00.

The Dragon Gold Cup is steeped in history and is run to very specific and traditional rules. These include that racing will be run over a 12-mile windward leeward course - very long by today's standards - and that there shall be only one race a day unless a race is missed, when a second race can be scheduled to catch up the schedule.

The rules also state that the points from all races shall count in the overall standings with no discards allowed, meaning that consistency, great boat preparation and maintenance, attention to detail and the ability to play the long game are of vital importance to Gold Cup success.

One man who brought all these attributes together to great effect and who was perhaps one of the greatest Dragon sailors of all time, was Denmark's Aage Birch. Born in 1926, just two years before the Dragon was designed, Birch was to develop a lifelong love affair with the class, winning no less than seven Gold Cups, his first in 1963 in Marstrand and his last in 1972 in Copenhagen.

He also claimed a Dragon Class Olympic Silver Medal at the 1968 Mexico City Games sailing with Poul Lindemark-Jørgensen and Niels Markussen. His fondness for the class and the Gold Cup never waned and even into his 90s he kept track of the fleet's goings on. He particularly enjoyed following the Gold Cup of 2016 when it was held in his hometown of Hornbaek - a special 90th birthday gift for a Dragon legend.

Whilst disappointed not to race today, the sailors were in full agreement with the Race Committee's decision. They took the opportunity to sample the many delights of Marstrand, the summer yachting capital of Sweden, and to enjoy the simple pleasures of catching up with good friends after a long time of enforced separation.

It also gave everyone the opportunity to prepare for the very special Yanmar Opening Ceremony which is being held in the Island's historic Carlsten Fortress, built in 1658 on the orders of King Carl X of Sweden. The festivities get under way at the harbour where the teams will gather by their boats, assembling in their national teams. A special guard of honour will be dispatched from the fortress to escort the sailors through the village streets and up the hill to the ceremony.

To comply with Swedish Covid social distancing recommendations, the teams will be seated at tables of six in their national groups as representatives of their host Yanmar greet them with a glass of traditional Japanese Sake. The Commodores of the host clubs, the Marstrands Segelsällskap and the Göteborgs Kungliga Segelsällskap, will welcome the teams to Marstrand and there will also be short presentation by supporting sponsor Henri Lloyd, after which food will be served and the party will commence.

The forecast is for the wind to moderate overnight and the remainder of the week looks set to bring the champagne sailing conditions for which Marstrand is rightly famous. Championship racing will continue until Friday 20 August with a total of six races scheduled. The warning signal for the first of Monday's two races is set for 11:00 with the second race following on as soon as possible.

Related Articles

Cowes Week 2022 overall
A spectacularly busy finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron The last day of Cowes Week featured short, action-packed races in a solid north-westerly gradient wind, culminating in a spectacularly busy finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron. Posted on 6 Aug
Cowes Week day 6
Khumbu wins the New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup A thrilling finish for the Grand Prix yachts competing for the New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup, one of sailing's most coveted prizes, saw Christian Zugel's GP42 Tschuss lead three boats across the Royal Yacht Squadron line just 30 seconds apart. Posted on 4 Aug
Cowes Week day 5
Ian Atkins' Dark 'n' Stormy wins the Britannia Cup Lighter winds this morning increased to give competitors another great day on the water, predominately in breezes of 10-18 knots. Posted on 3 Aug
Cowes Week day 4
Women's Day sees a great ratio of female helms More brisk winds and warm weather provided a further day of excitement for the fourth day of Cowes Week. Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor ever, was racing today, demonstrating just how seriously the top teams take their racing. Posted on 2 Aug
Cowes Week day 3
One highlight: more than 20 XODs crossed the finish line overlapped After a relaxed morning waiting for wind, Cowes Week competitors enjoyed a third successive day of glorious sailing and close racing in ideal conditions. Posted on 1 Aug
Cowes Week day 2
Lashings of excitement, thrills, spills and adrenaline Warm weather, combined with winds gusting above 25 knots, provided lashings of excitement, thrills, spills and adrenaline for competitors at Cowes Week today. Long downwind legs for many classes ensured competitors came ashore with big grins. Posted on 31 Jul
Cowes Week day 1
Sun and a west-south-westerly breeze that built from 10 to 15 knots The Solent delivered a sparkling and action-packed day for the start of Cowes Week, with plenty of sun and west-south-westerly breeze that built from 10 to 15 knots to give maximum gusts in the low 20s by early afternoon. Posted on 30 Jul
Bluebottle - The Queen's Dragon
A wedding gift from the Island Sailing Club to the-then Princess Elizabeth "Take the measurement certificate, for example, it says the owner, and it's... well, Her Majesty the Queen. So, when you go to the regatta office to register [your entry] and they're looking at it... they're taking photographs and they can't believe it." Posted on 18 Jul
Cowes Week Regatta Update - 17 days to go!
There is still time to enter the world's largest regatta Cowes Week is only three weeks away, so if your boat is ready and you have your crew sorted, there is still time to enter the world's largest regatta. Posted on 12 Jul
Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2022 at Falmouth overall
Going into the final two races it was close at the top Going into the final two races of the 2022 Edinburgh Cup in Falmouth it was close at the top. Just one or two points were in it for four of the Dragons and it quite literally was all to play for! Posted on 8 Jul
Selden 2020 - FOOTERC-Tech 2020 Tubes 728x90 BOTTOMSOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 Bottom